The horrors of imperialism: the belgian congo essay 763 words 4 pages imperialism is the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. King leopold and the belgian congo it is widely debated why exactly king leopold decided to conquer the congo, but the general consensus seems to be that it was out of the belief that the highlands of the congo may be as rich in gold as the mountains of the western slope of the american continent (stead. Initially called the congo free state, the colony remained a personal possession of king leopold ii from 1885 until 1908 when it was taken over by the belgian government and renamed the belgian congo. The capture of the arabs' capital nyangwé in 1893 was heralded by belgian propagandists as the triumphant fulfillment of europe's promise to substitut[e] the benefits of civilization for the horrors of slavery and cannibalism. During the war, the belgian congo was a major source of income for belgium when the war ended, many belgian's left their homeland of belgium, and immigrated to the congo this increase in immigration allowed the congo to achieve greater things, as well as succeed more.
Belgian congo, french congo belge, former colony (coextensive with the present-day democratic republic of the congo) in africa, ruled by belgium from 1908 until 1960 it was established by the belgian parliament to replace the previous, privately owned congo free state, after international outrage over abuses there brought pressure for supervision and accountability. During most of the 19th century, none of the european powers dared invade the mysterious and unsafe congo filled with unknown diseases, plants, and animals, it was not considered a very valuable place. Imperialism in africa 1880-1914 monday, march 11, 13 before imperialism the congo was never fully the congo in 1885 king leopold ii of tiny belgium wanted.
Foreign powers have been meddling in the congo ever since the belgian king leopold ii sent stanley off in pursuit of the region's enormous mineral wealth and central africa's crises and conflicts. Belgian intellectuals were conversant with a four-volume account of leopold's congo by the respected belgian historian jules marchal as well as with other new histories of europe's appropriation. Leopold hired the famous welsh explorer henry morton stanley to serve as the head of the spear in the congo back in 1871, stanley had made a name for himself by setting out to find the long lost explorer david livingstone. A latecomer to colonialism, king leopold ii of belgium searched the world for a satellite to call his very own, finally finding his prey in the congo region of africa. Belgian overseers treated the natives brutally laborers were paid very little and were beaten and mutilated this extremely harsh working conditions caused a drastic decline in the population of african natives.
The congolese horror ended when international outrage compelled the belgian state to take control of the colony in 1908 estimates for the number of people killed range between two and 15 million, easily putting leopold in the top ten of history's mass murderers. This is largely an effect of belgium imperialism and the deprived conditions they left their colonies in because the african countries acquired by belgium did not have any benefits in the long-term, they certainly did not outweigh the hardships.
The horrors of imperialism: the belgian congo essay the new imperialisms exploded out of a combination of causes (esler 564) as a result of the industrial revolution in europe, some of the world's most powerful nations experienced a change in economics. The british felt inclined to get involved in the belgian countries and reveal their atrocities to the public are present day belgians aware of the horrors of the belgian congo no, many are still ignorant to all of the bad things. In the period from 1885 to 1908, many well-documented atrocities were perpetrated in the congo free state (today the democratic republic of the congo) which, at the time, was a colony under the personal rule of king leopold ii of belgium. In his book, king leopold's ghost, adam hochschild describes the brutal plunder of the congo by the belgian king, leopold ii hochschild brings to life the horrors of imperialism and this specific time period through a careful depiction of historical figures and events.
The greed for resources and christian souls was a lesson in brutal european colonialism in this case belgian king leopold ii. Adam hochschild's study of king leopold ii of belgium's creation of the congo free state goes to the essence of the economic and political systems established in colonial africa between 1885 and.